Mercedes-AMG GT R PRO: A worthy rival to the GT3 RS?
After teasing us with a single image a few weeks ago, Mercedes-AMG have finally lifted the lid on the GT R PRO at the LA Auto Show. But, was it worth waiting for?
It's a GT R for those who thought the regular GT R was a bit soft. Which no one said. Ever.The GT R PRO shares an identical engine and power output with the regular GT R: a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 pushing out 577bhp. But from there on in, it's about as different from the GT R as the GT3 RS is from the GT3.
There are carbon ceramic brakes and new lightweight forged wheels. There is also lots and lots of carbon fibre in a bid to minimise weight, including a carbon roof and a carbon adjustable anti-roll bar at the front.
The suspension is also completely different with dampers that enable the driver to adjust compression, rebound and spring preload length and the clever active engine and transmission mounts tighten up when you're driving hard. Wear-resistant "uniball spherical bearings" have been added to the rear upper wishbones in addition to the ones already on the lower wishbones.
In terms of aerodynamics a new front apron with an extended splitter and canards either side has been introduced. Reduced lift on the front axle has been achieved with louvres on the wings while carbon fibre rear fins sprout from the diffuser. The front wing has also been fiddled with.
The track package, optional on the GT R, comes as standard with the PRO, meaning you get four-point harnesses, a half cage and a fire extinguisher. All very reassuring.
All these changes and tweaks mean that, despite identical engines, the PRO is much faster on the track than than the GT R. It has just put in an impressive time of 7:04.632 around the Nurburgring (see below for video): that's a whole six seconds faster! Though, it still lags behind the blistering 6:56.4 time put in by the GT3 RS earlier this year. To be fair to Mercedes, the track conditions at the time of their lap were less than ideal, so we think they'll return soon to see if the PRO can crack the 7 minute barrier. With this incredible car, we definitely think it's possible. Watch this space.